Pregnancy companions

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Typically I have a bare-bones approach to pregnancy. It lasts 9 months, which in the grand scheme of things is not very long, so in the past I have avoided buying specific items suited to that short season of life. When you're in it, though, it can seem like an eternity! Your body goes through such vast changes in a short period of time, and for those of us who like steadiness and predictability, pregnancy can be not only physically stressful, but emotionally and mentally fatiguing to say the least. Your clothes fit one day, and then don't the next, sleeping becomes uncomfortable, anxiety may increase, and crazy hormones threaten to unglue your sanity. I try to remember that these things are not only temporary, but a means to an end. My littlest, Bruno, turned 4 on Saturday. I can't even tell you the number of times I have replayed those first moments with him over and over and over again to bolster my courage through this pregnancy. Of course I have similar sweet memories from when Sebastian was born, but Bruno's birth was this striking, thunder bolt experience. It was a rush of relief and sudden wonder when in what seemed the same instant he both entered the world and was on my chest, soft and warm and gooey. My birthing experience with him was one for the books. There were no niceties of getting him cleaned off and wrapped up before I held him in my arms. It was as if he never left me for a moment as the midwife moved him with incredible swiftness to my arms. I remember so vividly the way his chubby little biceps felt as I held him. This pregnancy I am approaching things with a bit more gentleness, focusing more on my health as a whole person than I have in the past. If I have a problem or discomfort, I try to figure out what could help make me more comfortable. I still haven't caved and purchased an enormous pregnancy pillow (I can't get the images out of my mind of what it would look like to store it in our closet, ha!). But restless legs? Fatigue? Anxiety? Clothes that make me feel just a little bit like myself? Check check check and check. Most days I still feel like I could really use a $500 maternity clothes shopping spree, but what I have purchased has helped tremendously. I am only including my bare essentials on this list, in case you also find yourself searching for some solutions of your own.

Natural Calm Magnesium powder / I honestly don't know why I resisted this magnesium supplement for so long. I caved and bought some after my midwife recommended it for restless legs (for the second time). My oils were helping, but I was still having at least one, more intense, restless leg episode once a week. What I didn't expect was that taking this supplement would have other enormous benefits. I have experienced lessened anxiety, and my stomach is much happier. I asked my midwife this week if the magnesium supplement could be helping me not wake up with soreness in the middle of the night, and she said that's definitely what it is. Before I started on the magnesium, I would wake up frequently with hip and back pain, but because magnesium is a muscle relaxer, my body is less tense and more at ease.

Essential oils / I marvel almost daily at how I was able to make it through my past pregnancies without essential oils. I know there are many skeptics out there, but the comparison from the beginning of this pregnancy when I wasn't reaching for my oils, and now, are pronounced. I rub 4 drops of Aroma Touch mixed with a dab of coconut oil on my legs before I go to bed to ease my restless legs. If my legs are feeling especially jittery, I follow that up with a dab of Deep Blue massaged into my legs. I rub a drop of Vetiver on the back of my neck each night to help me relax and enjoy a deep sleep. I typically use Balance on my pulse points once during the day and then again at night before bed on the soles of my feet.

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Storq basics / Truly, I would buy the whole bundle, but in the name of economy (and because I wasn't sure if I would actually need leggings for an eternal-summer-pregnancy) I stuck to the tank in both black and white and the skirt. These have seen me through, let me tell you.

Blanqi support band / This is another area of resistance for me. How did I go through 2 pregnancies without a support band? As I entered the 2nd trimester my workouts became increasingly uncomfortable for my abdominal muscles, but this band has lessened the discomfort dramatically. I always wear it if we're going on a hike or long walk, and frequently wear it under shirts that are a tad short or over jeans that are unzipped.

BoobDesign nursing bra / Am I the only one that finds it extremely difficult to put money into underthings? After two pregnancies and a total of two years nursing, my old bras were not holding up so well. I purchased one of these bras and have absolutely loved it. I think it has the right balance of shape and comfort. I plan to get at least one more before the baby comes.

Diet and exercise / These are both tough for me during pregnancy, and so it has taken an extra measure of determination to keep up with regular exercise, and eating decently well. The difference is so tremendous, though. Exercise is my escape from that overwhelming heavy feeling that you begin to feel half way through. There is no ache or pain or moodiness for me that doesn't find great relief in movement and exerting my body in more intense ways than walking. I am having to fight for it really hard right now as my energy wanes. Sparkling water and lots of fruit have also helped me make better eating choices.